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I have had periods in my life without cars (when I was in college) but for most of the last thirty years, having a car has just been a given in my life. I like the ability to go where I want when I want, and for a lot of the last thirty years I have lived in places with poor public transportation. Now I have moved into Daybreak Cohousing in North Portland where the ethos is geared to having a smaller eco-footprint. One of the reasons I chose Daybreak is that it is on the bus lines and close to the Max and near parking spaces for some Zip Cars. My present car is 10 years old with problems. So I am seriously thinking about going carfree in January. I guess my car is like an addiction, but that decision is causing me a lot of anxiety. What if I have to get to a meeting in SW or West Linn or something? I live in North Portland and my doctor is at Washington Square. I guess my question for this discussion board is to those of you who have gotten rid of a car after having been dependent on one for so long: how did you do it? what advice do you have for me?

Laura

www.DaybreakCohousing.org

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I'm in the process of breaking the car habit by riding an electric bike. Since I'm sixty years old, using a regular bike seemed pretty daunting to me. Bicycling up steep hills was never easy, but one steep hill on a regular bike would just about do me in. After I bought my first electric bike 3 years ago, I loved it so much I decided to start a small electric bike business out of my home in North Portland. Riding electric bikes is super fun and charging them up uses very little electricity (about five cents worth) (and I use Green Power). They can go up to 25 miles on a charge (or double that with two batteries) and travel up to 20 miles per hour. The new lithium batteries are green, non-polluting and last up to 1000 charges. I offer 2-hour tours or 2-hour rentals for only $25! Or you can test ride one for free. What a deal! Nora (www.singingplanetebikes.com) 503-360-6876
Hi Laura,
HUGE & VITAL STEP
This is such an important step to take – experts give earth 10 years to seriously reduce impacts - and personal choices radiate to others more than we can every measure. This is especially true for young people as they figure out how to live more simply than their parents or near ancestors.
Europe doe sit – they have a better transportation system they we do but - - - it’s all about feeling good being a pioneer.
GETTING PRACTICAL
http://www.drivelesssavemore.com/ is a great site to check out – many resources re bike / bus / train. Rescheduling is key – asking help and telling loved ones and friends the whats and whys to help you in the hardest initial phases.

If you would like any bicycle related skills – planning trips, handling your bike like a pro on your routes, reach me at Www.BIKEmpowered.com and we’ll design the right skills-building program for you.

Best of luck!

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